Tourists Call Cops Over €42 Ice Cream Bill

We all want to indulge in gelato in Italy, but how much is too much?

Photo Sasabune Omakase Modified: Flickr/erin/CC 4.0

Three American tourists were shocked when they ordered three gelati and a bottle of water at Bar il Caffè in Rome, a café just near the famous Trevi Fountain tourist site, and were issued a whopping €42 bill.

When travelers make their way to Italy, indulging in gelato is one of the must-do activities that sits high at the top of their lists.

Yet it seems that the price of gelato in some parts of Italy may be costly enough to break the bank.

An American couple and their relative were shocked when they ordered three gelati and a bottle of water at Bar il Caffè in Rome, a café just near the famous Trevi Fountain tourist site, and were faced with a whopping €42 bill. The couple protested, but the staff informed them that the menu, which they did not look at before ordering, clearly states the price of gelato at €13 apiece.

The couple, James and Mariann Luciani, asked the police to intervene in the matter and dispute the outrageously high charge. The police found that the café was not breaking the law, and that the pricing for the gelato was listed on the menu.

Italy received a slew of negative press last year when British tourists in Rome found themselves in a similar situation after being charged €64 for four gelati. Authorities were so embarrassed that the tourists were invited back to Italy to experience the country’s wonderful hospitality.

If there is anything to be learned about that must-have gelato in Italy, it is to always check the menu before ordering. 

Alexandra E. Petri is the travel editor at The Daily Meal. You can follow her on Twitter @writewayaround

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